by Graham Pierrepoint
Whether online or in the schoolyard, the latest ‘thing’ to capture kids’ interests is the fidget spinner – an addictive motorized toy that seems to be doing the rounds as the latest toy or craze that is becoming a collectible fad as well as the hot purchase of the summer ahead. You’ll find them everywhere – sold in stores, markets and as the subject of hundreds of YouTube videos – and, as always, there is two sides to the story. As last year’s major craze, the hoverboard, seems to be no more than a distant memory these days, the fidget spinner, too, appears to have warranted its own level of controversy – as it seems that the latest gadget is facing a health warning all of its own.
It seems that certain trading standards in the UK advise that fidget spinners be removed from supermarket shelves as it seems that they may pose a risk to young people that may not have been considered already. Concerns abound that the gizmos contain lights and certain batteries which may cause considerable internal damage if swallowed – lithium-ion batteries, if swallowed, could put youngsters at risk of internal bleeding – and, as such, some council officers have taken the move to recommend that the toys be removed from sale entirely. This, of course, has meant that a number of stores and market stalls may now be requested to return the devices as a result of rising concern.
Trading Standards are responsible for ensuring that products and toys are sold responsibly to the wider UK public – meaning that safety measures and more have to be thoroughly adhered to for public consumption to be assured. Fidget spinners initially came to public attention as motor-skill improvement toys, particularly useful in aiding the development of young people with autism and other behavioral afflictions.
Fidget spinners will still likely be available for purchase on a global scale – but as these warnings suggest, it is important that all safety measures and warnings be adhered to ahead of purchase. The spinners will likely remain hugely popular with kids for some time – at least until the next craze comes along – but, for the time being, it is important to remember that some toys may come with harmful batteries that could provide considerable internal damage if accidentally swallowed. Take care – at least until the next fad rolls (or spins) around!